1 EXT. BEACH. MORNING
A crab crawls, waves roll gently, ebb tide, empty beach.
2 INT. ROAD. MORNING
LING LI(female, 40s) sits in a car, she has an uneasy expression on her submissive face.
She looks outside and sees a 5 or 6 years old boy walking with his mom on the zebra crossing, and another couple holding their baby walking on the sidewalk happily, her eyes lock on the boy and the babies` face.
She turns to her bag on the passenger seat, takes a deep breath, grabs the bag, gets out of the car and walking to an office building.
3 INT. DNA TESTING AGENCY - RECEPTION. MORNING
RECEPTIONIST - DNA TESTING AGENCY Good morning madam, may I help you?
LING takes out two little transparent plastic bags, there is a hair in each of them.
4 INT. DNA TESTING AGENCY - ROOM. MORNING
DNA TESTING APPLICATION FORM - Name, LING LI, Age, 43. LING fills her personal information in it. She looks at the term of “Born in or out of wedlock”, her pen stops in the air.
5 INT. HOUSE - BED ROOM. MORNING Title: one month ago
LING sits on chair, in suit. She looks in a mirror, the collar is open, there is a scar from her neck down. Dan (male,5 yeas old) in pajamas comes in and jumps on her legs.
(finger to the scar)
Mom! What's that, Mom?
LING buttons up quickly and ignores this question.
Oh, you're up baby, good morning
(tries to kiss Dan)
Haha, stop, mom, please.
I can stop, but you better give me
Okay, the reason is...
Oh, you'd rather give me a reason
than a kiss, sad.
DAN Haha, sorry, mom.
LING Okay, tell me then.
Because dad says I am already a
One week to your 5 years old, quiet
DAN runs out of the bed room, LING follows him pretending to catch him, they run into the kitchen with laughs.
6 INT. HOUSE - KITCHEN. MORNING
YANG (male, 40s), he is LING`s husband, DAN`s dad. He makes the omelette, DAN and LING chase around YANG, DAN knocks into YANG, which irritates him.
Stay away Dan! Careful!
YANG (to Ling)
Ling, you take him away. LING and Dan keep running.
YANG (CONT'D) (waves the spatula)
Stop Dan! Dad wouldn't love you anymore if you don't listen!
You are already late 10 minutes, go
wash your face, change your clothes, slob!
DAN is afraid, head down, LING holds him into arms.
It`s okay, mom helps you baby.
She touches and kisses DAN`s head, they walk to the bathroom.
LING (CONT'D) What day is today?
LING Who's on duty then?
YANG (shakes head)
Only weak men go moms for help.
7 INT. HOUSE - BATHROOM. MORNING
LING holds a shirt with a cute bear design, puts it on the chair outside of the bathroom, and knocks the door.
(inside, brushes teeth)
LING smiles and walks to YANG.
8 INT. HOUSE - KITCHEN. MORNING
Since when you changed?
LING grabs coffee, YANG puts sandwiches, milk on the table.
Changed what? A morning chef?
An emotional butcher.
Just because you can cut people's
hearts Doctor Yang, does not mean you can cut people's emotions.
But I got a therapist wife to close
it, thank my dad-in-law for raising such a good daughter, lucky me.
Don't mention him, he does not live
here. But, “Dad wouldn't love you anymore if you don't listen”, seriously?
I was teaching him how to be a good
Can you cut the link between your
pressure and my son's behaviors?
A GOOD boy pressure.
That's not pressure, that's
expectation, that's love.
That's not love, that's a
Well, then he needs to meet my
condition to earn my love, otherwise he would fail in society, in many respects. He will be a first grade student very soon, Oxford or Yale won't open their doors to him if he is not good.
See, you are copying with a future
pressure, a furfural pressure maybe won't exist in the future.
LING finishes the breakfast, grabs her bag.
It`s called carry an umbrella for
the rainy days.
But it is heavy to carry it in the
sunny day. Wait, I do think you should go with me today.
DAN comes to the table, YANG pours him milk.
DAN Go where mom?
Today is mom's big day, she is
gonna do something terrific.
DAN Terrific? What's that?
LING gives YANG a stop look, she kisses DAN`s forehead.
It`s like, you go to kindergarten,
you tell a story to the class. Enjoy your breakfast, baby, mom loves you.
LING smiles and leaves the house.
9 EXT. COASTAL HIGHWAY. MORNING
LING drives, windows open, a calm on her face.
10 EXT. BOOKSTORE. MORNING
LING pulls over, turns to right and looks at a poster on the window of the bookstore, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE BY LING LI, she and DAN are on the cover, it`s her book launch event.
11 INT. BOOKSTORE. MORNING Applause.
LING sits in the center, surrounding by readers.
(a microphone in her hand)
What's the difference between conditional love and unconditional love? Well, you would get the answer if you saw what my husband did to my son this morning.
LING (CONT'D) Clients or parents I work with
often stunk in a situation calls expectation. If their kids meet expectations, they feel like there would be a bright future come tomorrow, if not, they are anxious, mad at their kids. Meanwhile, kids are hopeless to meet parents` expectations, otherwise they feel they are not good enough.
A girl at 20s stands behind readers and watches LING excitedly, she is DEE, LING`s assistant, she whispers a CAMERAMAN to takes more pictures for LING.
Why? What's wrong with them? In
fact, it`s love, something is wrong with love, because love that those parents offer to their children is conditional, that's why both parents and kids are miserable.
So, from the first day I met my
son, I decided to love him unconditionally, yes, unconditional love.
LING sits behind a table and sign books for readers, also take photos with them. The last reader leaves, LING goes to DEE and the CAMERAMAN.
LING (CONT'D) (checks the camera)
Did I smile naturally, Dee?
Very, better if you show your
No, a lady doesn't show her teeth
when she smiles.
What? Were you living in the Middle
Chinese tradition, and my teeth are
not perfect. How about my pronunciation? My accent?
You don't have any accent, perfect.
Oh, by the way, Ling, I am helping
an ice cream brand to look for a child model to do a commercial, your son is lovely, would you like to take him to do the audition?
No, Dan is too young, and he has no
camera experience, he --
-- How about we ask Dan first to
see if he is interested in it?
CAMERAMAN Make sense.
12 INT. COUNSELING AGENCY. DAY
LING and DEE push the door and come in.
You are right, I should ask Dan to
see if he wants to do that.
Yes, being a guardian doesn't mean
being a decision maker always. LING smiles.
And, his birthday party, I need
more information to prepare, what dose he like, what does he want?
Simple, his favorite color is blue,
favorite toy is Buzz Lightyear, food, noodles, ramen, spaghetti, a big fan of carb, unlike a child living by the sea.
DEE takes note, a client walks in, she is 30s, worried.
CLIENT Sorry, I am earlier.
Never mind, would you like to wait
for me in the consulting room?
DEE And, guests list.
Guests list? Oh, his friends,
Angela, he likes Angela very much, so yes, put Angela on the list, and Pepper, the teacher said he had a fight with Pepper last week, don't forget to invite Pepper, too, Dan needs to learn how to fix friendship, and, leave the RSVP to him, his birthday party, he should make some effort, too.
Okay, I will make a proposal.
A proposal? It is just a 5 years
old boy's birthday party, not a president inauguration ceremony. Don't go big, go home, in my yard, blow candles, eat cakes, low key.
Okay, will do my best to make you
(turns around to the
consulting room) Not me.
Okay, make Dan satisfied.
(disappears in the corner)
No! Not him, make Mr. Decision Maker satisfied.
(raising her voice)
Who is Mr. Decision Maker?
13 INT. HOTEL - BALLROOM. NIGHT
A giant book poster of the book UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and giant family photos of LING, DAN, YANG stand at the door of the ballroom, flowers, lights, music, the decoration is luxury.
An old man(70s) greets guests, he is Mr. Decision Maker, PROFESSOR LI, LING`s father. An old woman stands behind, she is Mrs.LI, LING`s mother, same age. Guests arrive.
GUEST A Professor LI, how are you?
PROFESSOR LI (shakes hands)
Chief, how are you? Such a pleasure to see you, your appearance makes this room more brighter.
Haha, your retirement is a loss to
our university, everyone misses you, how can I miss a birthday party of your grandson?
Haha, come here, DAN, say hi to
DAN Hi, Chief.
GUEST A Happy birthday, Dan.
DAN Thank you.
GUEST A 5 years old, right?
PROFESSOR LI July 1st, easy to remember.
14 INT. HOTEL - BALLROOM - CORNER. NIGHT
Low key, I said low key.
Yes, I know, but this is the low key of Mr.Decision Maker.
(jaw to Professor LI)
LING looks at her dad and signs. PROFESSOR LI mingles with guests who are surrounding him.
Congratulations, Professor LI, your
daughter is brilliant.
Thank you, yes, the money I spent
on her was not wasted.
Best-selling author, you must be
very proud of her.
Perhaps I should write a book, How
to Make a Best-selling Author.